Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

Dale Peck writes:

"Where in the hell do you start with a movie like Pee-wee’s Big Adventure? With Tim Burton in his feature debut, displaying a B-movie zeal so old school it looks brand new? Or Danny Elfman in his star turn, delighting listeners with an irresistible fusion of Carl Stalling and carnival jingles and video game bleeps and whoops? And let’s not forget co-writer Phil Hartman, muse of the Groundlings and SNL before he became a great deadpan actor in his own right -- one of the few men who can play both halves of a double entendre for a laugh.

Or Elizabeth Daily as Dottie or Diane Salinger as Simone or -- Oh! My! God! -- Jan Hooks as the saccharine Alamo tour guide, whose two minutes of screen time are pants-wettingly hilarious.

But even with all this talent and energy and, let’s face it, good luck going for it (I mean, Burton and Elfman and Hartman, all on a $6 million budget), Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is still pretty much all about -- um, duh -- Pee-wee Herman, a.k.a. Paul Reubens, who, like his friend Cassandra Peterson (blink and you’ll miss her boobs in the biker scene), wound up more or less subsumed by his most famous creation."

Click here to continue reading Dale Peck's article "Scary Fun" at

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